And it's happened again. I've survived once more to watch someone who once wronged me greatly, be handed a hard dose of Karma because apparently, some people learn some lessons the really hard way.
My old boss, the one who bullied me and put me out of commission for 14 months, has been served another helping of just desserts. I'm left pondering however, if he's really gathered the lessons he's supposed to have learned. I had already thought his penance had been served once. While on my medical leave, the entire team I left behind took issues regarding his treatment of them to HR. He was hauled over the coals, put on watch, and then the entire time I was out on maternity leave, things got tougher for him still - the coals turned into a laboratory table and he was scrutinized as though he were a dead fly under a microscope. When I came back to work from medical leave he punished me in more passive aggressive ways than he'd previously punished me, but when I got pregnant things changed. Like we're talking, he did a 180 degree about face, and began treating me gently, with respect, even what some could envision as older brotherly kind of love. He was suddenly good to me. Perhaps because he no longer viewed me as a threat because he was busy fighting the foes who attacked in my absence. Who knows.
(I have just realized that this is the first time I have ever explained the work situation in any detail - I imagine this means it's appropriate then to do an article on how workplace bullies make their mark.)
When I returned from maternity leave, this didn't change. BUT, I noticed through conversations with other team mates over the past year that he had simply changed the direction of his bullying. I could write the scripts for some of the things reported to me. He was dreadful to one of my colleagues, and I realized that perhaps he was being good to me, because he had a new victim. After all of that, he'd not learned a single lesson. At least not the right one.
Fast forward to April of this year, and that same boss announced that he got a great new job as CEO at another company and bailed ship. I'll admit to feeling a bit lost and forlorn - after all, bully or no, I've worked for this man and learned to survive his ways over the course of 9 harrowing years. Nevertheless, he moved onward and upward, and skipped about 3 levels of professional management statuses to go from a Manager with a Director's title, to CEO. HUGE step. Some may have wondered (ehem) if he were ready for such a step.
Fast forward once again to yesterday when Karma showed me I was wrong to have been feeling this way about the change his departure had introduced into my life. In a flash he emailed the old team letting us know that after a whirlwind 10 weeks in his new job as CEO, his entire management team resigned effective immediately, and well, that left him with no new job. Seriously. 10 weeks as a CEO has to be a new record. The tone of his email was upbeat, crisp and simple. Didn't go into details, but he noted that a lot of lessons were learned. My goodness, I lasted longer as CEO of my own company and never got to sell a damn thing before calling it quits! And I dealt with months, no years, of regret and pangs of wanting to reinvigorate and start it all up again and do it right this time. He seems chipper. Ready for the next challenge, and is seeing humour in the amount of free time he has available suddenly.
Which leads me to two independent conclusions:
1) Not a bad attitude to have if you can afford it. Job markets being what they are, he's still too young to retire and too old to bounce back quickly...I hope he can afford it.
2) When after your entire staff has taken you to HR, and you've survived to play another day, and your approach to that new opportunity leads your next entire management staff to actually coordinate a mass resignation to occur on the same day in a job market where many people are lucky to find anything that will pay them a livable wage, what lesson has been learned? Especially if you nonchalantly announce it by email to your old team, with a positive, upbeat attitude?
Honestly, that's where my analysis of it ends with a shaking head, confusion evident in my brow, because the truth is, this is the type of person who repeats bad behaviour because he never learned the good kind. BUT, it's ability to baffle me so made me re-examine things in my own life.
Living by a mantra of dying without regrets, and knocking as much off my bucket list as I can as evidence that I've lived a life worth living, also means learning lessons. By doing and by watching others in every single way I can. So I pulled out the bucket list to see if I'd made any progress. It's been a year or so since I checked in on it. I was able to edit it a bit (the beauty of making your own bucket list is that it's your prerogative to update it). And I knocked a couple other things off too! WoooHOO!
This is a list I don't mind keeping tabs on.
· Show Maggie Aurora Borealis
· Take Mike to Asia
· Take Mike to the Rocky Mountains
Write a book
Be paid to write
Have another baby Love another baby
Retire early Retire
with time to spare
Own a cottage Rent a cottage
· Weekend in Paris
· Vacation in Italy
· Vacation in London, Eng.
· Travel all over Europe
· Weekend in New York City
· Eat at the Russian Tea Room
· Shop at FAO Schwartz
· Shop in Greenwich village
Learn to cook like a chef
Visit a town called Rebecca Find
a street named Rebecca
Diners, Drive Ins and Dives Road
Host a fabulous cocktail and
dinner party catered by professional chefs and wait staff
· Custom build my own house
· Got to the ballet or the opera
· Watch Maggie graduate university
· Give Maggie away with her dad at her wedding
· Watch my first grandchild be born